October 22, 2021

I-81 work continues in Cortland

Todd R. McAdam/managing editor

Construction workers dump fill at the site of an Interstate 81 bridge at Exit 11 in Cortland. An $8 million project will replace the bridge with fill and a new section of highway.

Drivers on Interstate 81 near Exit 11, the Cortland city exit, can expect traffic changes because of construction until at least the end of July, state officials said.

The state Department of Transportation awarded a contract in May to begin work to remove the bridges over the abandoned Lehigh Valley Railroad and replace it with fill and a new section of highway, according to the DOT.

The almost $8 million project will be substantially completed — meaning the public will have full access — by July 31. The original contract stipulates all construction must be completed by Aug. 30. Construction and cost are both on track, the state reports.

The project is covered by both state and federal funds.

The state will also install a tunnel under the fill so the city can continue developing a bicycle and pedestrian path from Yaman Park to downtown Cortland, and to SUNY Cortland, said Mack Cook, the city’s director of finance and administration.